Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

DHL pilots robotics in life sciences warehouse

Steve Rogerson
April 11, 2017



DHL Supply Chain is to begin a pilot test using collaborative, autonomous robotics within the life sciences sector at a facility in Tennessee in the next two months. The robots, called LocusBots from Locus Robotics, are being tested as a picker companion for piece picking order fulfilment in the warehouse.
 
LocusBots work collaboratively and safely alongside warehouse staff, helping to locate and transport pick items, so pickers don't have to push carts or carry bins.
 
"We believe it's critical to identify and implement these types of advanced technology in the warehouse so we can seamlessly improve our customers' supply chains," said Adrian Kumar, vice president at DHL Supply Chain in North America. "DHL Supply Chain's initial implementation of this pilot programme within the life sciences sector will inform the potential for broader deployment across different parts of our business. This is a natural evolution of our robotics programme."
 
The pilot rollout will use different picking strategies with the LocusBots in the warehouse. It will also assess the robot's ability to communicate with the picker and the warehouse management system, how it navigates the warehouse, and its overall versatility. The autonomous robot is expected to connect seamlessly within DHL Supply Chain's existing warehouse infrastructure.
 
"It's especially gratifying to see the extent to which our offering is proving its worth in a wide range of warehouse environments," said Rick Faulk, CEO of Locus Robotics. "We've designed an easy-to-deploy, highly scalable solution that can improve the operating metrics for mid-size clients, as well as global powerhouses. We're excited to partner with DHL Supply Chain on this initial deployment."